Our journey of hiring key talent for start-ups

Hiring key talent for start-up entrepreneurs especially at a younger stage is always somewhat of a catch-22 situation and the challenge is two-fold in nature:

1) Attracting good talent to work with you.

2) The ability to pay market-linked salaries.

This gets aggravated further if the start-up is at Seed funding or Series A stage.

The charm of ESOPs and long-term wealth creation is lost with most start-ups not having lived up to that dream of the candidates.

Founders’ Solution– Look for talent within their network; the core team most often than not, ends up consisting of people from their known inner circle and this generally works pretty well.

This particularly worked well during the pandemic when a lot of talent was out in the market and hence became easier to hire. As the organization grows there is a need for more specialized talent which, this time, may not be available within their network—and then the struggle to find this talent starts again. Oftentimes many months are lost and along with this a huge opportunity cost as they wait to find this talent somehow.

Job postings on professional platforms come across as the next step forward and these might present a lot of results, but relevancy is very little as a lot of the talent seems to be blindly applying to hope they fit in some role. Many start-up cofounders share that generic recruitment firms are not able to fill this gap for them as they try to focus on the technical and functional aspects of the role; however, a deeper evaluation brings out aspirational or cultural challenges and thus the positions remain open for long.

This seemed to be an interesting and challenging opportunity for us at Growth360 and we worked on building a network of:

–aspiring entrepreneurs who had burnt their hands in starting something of their own but realized running it independently was not in their wheelhouse, at least not as of the moment

–professionals stuck in corporate jobs but really wanting to try something entrepreneurial but not fully ready to launch on their own.

What these people inherently brought to the table was Passion and Zeal to be a part of something that they truly believed had the potential to be really big and not just be a speck in the ocean of the corporate world. Another advantage-they also brought the requisite experience and expertise needed for becoming the key people in supporting the growth of these start-ups.

Easy as it may sound—it was far from that to make these matches. Why so:

Founders tried the lure of ESOPs and huge incentives but lesser fixed salaries however the market with many real-time examples had educated the potential seekers not to jeopardize their personal lives by taking huge risks from a salary perspective.

Balancing the expectations of both sides required a lot of expectation setting on sides and Growth360 worked with the Founders to build a compensation structure that could be a win-win for both the organization and the candidate.

To make this match happen, Growth360 invested a lot of time in understanding the mindset of the founders (our goal has always been to work with founders who are ethical and people-oriented and want their teams to grow with them and not those who are in it purely for personal selfish reasons), meeting their current team, understanding the business model and the culture that the organization is looking to build. So an in-depth understanding of what kind of people would be successful in their environment was done and then we pitched the organization and the role to the potential candidates and provided the answers to a multitude of questions they had to ensure this match worked.

The testimonials from our clients helped re-affirm our belief that we were on the right track, and we proudly share some with you:

EdTech is one of our key focus areas– Stone2Milestones is an ed-tech start-up that is trying to build a nation of readers and we have been working with them in their scale-up journey— this is what Kavish Gadia — CEO at S2M said:

Anurag Garg, Founder of (a mass-market mutual fund investment platform) had to say:

The team at Growth360 has always met challenges head-on and one such experience was when we had to hire for B2R, a rural BPO in Uttarakhand. Growth360 helped in hiring their leadership team and this is what Dhiraj Dolwani, CEO B2R, had to say:

Growth360 has similarly helped many other start-ups in their initial journey and our exciting journey continues…

If you're seeking mid-level talent looking to advance their
careers or aspiring to become a manager, please visit the website